UAE began their campaign on a high with a convincing victory over Oman while Saudi Arabia posted their first win on the second day of the Asian Cricket Council’s Under-16 Western Region tournament being held in the UAE.
Ansh was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved half century by just one run but his innings ensured UAE posted a brilliant eight-wicket win over their neighbours Oman in a rain-shortened match at Ajman’s Eden Garden.
Asked to bat first, Oman lost two quick wickets but opener Rushil Dadwal and Prathamesh Santosh K ensured a partnership of 46-run to ensure their team made a good recovery.
But Dadwal consumed too many balls (61) while scoring 35 and Santosh faced 36 deliveries to hit 24 that had slowed down the innings.
Thanks to a quick nine-ball 15 from Joel Biju, Oman just managed to enter the three-digit mark as they reached 101 for five in 23 overs.
UAE never looked at threat chasing a modest target as openers Aryan Lakra (13) and Ansh put on a superb 53-run partnership.
Ansh departed on 49 from 40 deliveries supported by four boundaries and three sixes and it took a small partnership from Muhammad A (22 not out, 33b, 1x4, 1x6) and Shoun R (12 not out, 22b, 1x4) to ensure UAE won in the 19th over.
In the other match, Saudi Arabia having lost their first match against Kuwait, put on a strong performance to defeat Bahrain at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Opting to bat first, Saudi Arabia lost Aamir Hamza Shaikh (5) early but Abdullah and Ahmed Abdul Baladraf stabled the innings. Abdullah succumbed scoring 20 off 32 deliveries consisting of four boundaries. Baladraf and Mohammed Zeeshan further consolidated the innings putting on a 44-run stand for the third wicket. Baladraf perished after scoring a patient 16 from 45 deliveries while Zeeshan managed to achieve 22 from 52 balls.
Imran Mohiuddin powered to a 33-ball 32 including a six and a boundary as Saudi Arabia piled on 160 for nine in 35 overs.
For Bahrain, Novead A claimed two wickets.
Chasing a challenging target, except opener and skipper Jagan Vijayakumar (41, 59b, 3x4) none of the other batsmen showed any intent as Bahrain had a disappointing end.
As many as five batsmen failed to open their account as Bahrain were bundled out for a paltry 94 in 26.2 overs.
Shah Mir Waheed and Khalid Wasim Mushir picked up three wickets each while Mohammad Abdul Rahman bagged two for the winners.
On the third day, 9th January, UAE will take on Maldives at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium while Bahrain will meet Kuwait at Ajman's Eden Garden.
Brief scores: Saudi Arabia bt Bahrain by 66 runs. Saudi Arabia: 160 for 9 in 35 overs (Abdullah 20, Mohammed Zeeshan 22, Imran Mohiuddin 32; Novead A 2-23). Bahrain: 94 all out in 26.2 overs (Jagan Vijaykumar 41; Shah Mir Waheed 3-16, Khalid Wasim Mushir 3-22, Mohammad Abdul Rahman 2-19).
UAE bt Oman by 8 wickets. Oman 101/5 in 23 overs (Rushil Dadwal 37, Prathamesh Santosh K 24). UAE: 104/2 in 18.2 overs (Ansh 49, Muhammad A 22 not out).